(Rancho Cucamonga) – Last month, The James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors awarded a two-year, $1 million grant to support work-based learning programs at Chaffey College’s InTech Center in Fontana. The goal of the grant is to increase job readiness in advanced manufacturing careers for residents of the Inland Empire by supporting work-based learning opportunities.
“The InTech Center and the IERTC are doing important work to prepare workers for good jobs and careers. We look forward to increasing residents’ readiness for future opportunities by supporting the development of quality work-based learning,” said Jessica Kaczmarek, Senior Program Officer with the Irvine Foundation.
The Irvine grant will allow Chaffey College and the Inland Empire Regional Training Consortium (IERTC) partners, to enhance the quality of training provided at the InTech Center by establishing work-based learning programs with Inland Empire employers, including California Steel Industries, Mitsubishi Cement Corporation, Cott Beverages and several others. The intention is to create a pipeline of skilled workers to local employers, provide skills necessary for workers to earn a living wage and attain careers in their field of choice, and increase the number of participants at the Center who gain internships/apprenticeship opportunities.
“The Chaffey College Foundation is pleased to be able to facilitate this grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The Foundation exists to support the college’s mission of providing access to education and training that improves the lives of the communities we serve,” said Lisa Nashua, Executive Director of the Chaffey College Foundation.
The grant-funded project includes two distinct programs designed to help unemployed or underemployed individuals as well as incumbent workers develop the skills necessary to obtain a living wage. The first program is an internship pathway that will be offered at different levels of intensity for individuals receiving training at the InTech Center. The second program, Learn and Earn, is targeted to incumbent workers who are obtaining additional certifications through the InTech Center, but need mentorship by more experienced staff for professional development.
“The Irvine Foundation grant will allow us to work with local employers to expand the InTech Center’s high-quality classroom and on-the-job training opportunities,” said Dr. Henry Shannon, Chaffey College superintendent/president. “At Chaffey College, we improve the lives of the students we serve, this work-based learning grant allows us to further do just that.”
The InTech Center has positioned itself to be the regional hub for the development of the workforce in Advanced Manufacturing, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Building Control Systems, and Automation and is the largest and most responsive training center in the region where students can obtain the skills they need in today’s workforce environment. Every week new employers visit the center to see the opportunities for new and incumbent employees to receive the high-tech training needed in today’s workplace. Since opening in March 2016, the InTech Center has served 516 students with certificates ready to enter the workforce. Overall the TAACCCT grant has served 1779 students at 10 colleges within the region. 1,300 industry-recognized certifications have been issued through the InTech Center. That equates to approximately 14,000 contact (classroom/training) hours – an important measure according to the National Center for Construction Education and Research.
Inland Empire Regional Training Consortium
The Inland Empire Regional Training Consortium (IERTC) is a partnership between 10 community colleges including: Chaffey College, Barstow College, College of the Desert, Crafton Hills College, Mt. San Jacinto College, MiraCosta College, Norco College, Riverside City College, San Bernardino Valley College, Victor Valley College, as well as CSU San Bernardino and UC Riverside. The Center has received a commendation for unique best practices from the United States Department of Labor.
Chaffey College Foundation
The Chaffey College Foundation was organized and established in 1987 by friends and alumni of the college. The purpose of the Foundation is to retain Chaffey’s leadership role in higher education by raising the necessary funds to fulfill student enrichment and goals. The task is achieved through student scholarships and programs/facility enhancements. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of dedicated community leaders who volunteer their time.
Established in 1883, Chaffey College was one of the first colleges to be established in California and offers associate degrees, as well as vocational and transfer programs in a wide variety of subjects. Courses are offered at campuses in Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, and Fontana, as well as online through the Distance Education program. For general information about the college, please visit www.chaffey.edu.